My dear Brother Bishops,
We are indeed blessed with the renewed call made by our dear Holy Father Pope Francis on the occasion of Pentecost 2019 “to pray for a truly missionary conversion of the whole Church.”
Pentecost this year has a special emphasis with Pope Francis inviting all of us to live October 2019 as an Extraordinary Missionary Month.
We are reminded of what St John Paul II told the world 20 years ago in 1999 when he came to New Delhi to promulgate the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Asia, the result of the labours of the Special Assembly for Asia of the Synod of Bishops held in Rome in 1998.
The word of God “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it,” (Jn. 1:5) are words of hope for our troubled times. Jesus words “To all who received Him, who believed in His name, He gave power to become children of God” (Jn. 1:12), are words of comfort to the workers of the Gospel who continue to whisper the Good News to the soul of Asian people in spite of persecution, intolerance and religious bigotry.
Pope Francis reminds us, “We are not selling a product. We have a life to communicate: God, his divine life, his merciful love, his holiness! It is the Holy Spirit who sends us, accompanies us and inspires us. He is the source of our mission. It is he who guides the Church forward.” (Pope Francis, address to the national directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies, 1 June 2018).
It is my humble prayer, dear Brother Bishops, that the breath of the Holy Spirit takes hold of us and through our witness bring forth the fruits of the Good News!
Charles Cardinal Bo SDB